In National Apprenticeships Week, Theresa May has welcomed a massive increase in the number of people undertaking apprenticeships in the Maidenhead constituency. Following an increase in Government funding, the number of people taking part in apprenticeships in the local area has risen by nearly 40% compared to the last academic year. The increase in Maidenhead is part of a national pattern which has seen the number of people starting an apprenticeship – many of whom will be young people – increase by 177,000 in a single year.
The increase follows the Government’s decision to prioritise apprenticeships and provide funding for 250,000 more apprenticeships than had been planned by the previous Government. The Government is offering employers with fewer than 50 employees up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24. This will support up to 20,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13. Businesses can also bid for a share of a £250 million fund to boost skills in their workplace, giving employers rather than training providers direct access to funding for training.
Commenting, Theresa said: “I am delighted that the Government’s support for apprenticeships has resulted in such a large increase in the number of apprentices in Maidenhead and the local area. Apprenticeships provide outstanding opportunities for people from different backgrounds – and particularly young people – to learn on the job whilst earning a wage. We know that investing in apprenticeships provides massive returns, both for those taking part and for the wider economy. I am sure that the Government will continue to focus on boosting apprenticeships in the coming years.”